Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Feedback Request

The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1360 would like feedback on the following version of the query:

Dear Mr. Evil Editor:

Twenty-eight-year-old Verity Hearst fears she'll never meet a man who will accept her dark secret. But solitude isn't so bad, not with a loaded sniper rifle and a warm cup of tea to keep her company. She has killed over forty criminals as one of the world's elite assassins, a reputation she has proudly earned alone.

Verity's manager is her only link to the mysterious company she works for. When he tells her she'll have a partner on her next assignment, taking out three men at the head of a billion-dollar human and drug trafficking operation, a partner sounds like a good idea. Until she meets his ego.

Verity's partner Cy thinks he's the world's greatest assassin. He's the expert on everything, including how to pour a cup of tea properly. He criticizes her every move, and has no faith in her instincts. When they are sent to a booby-trapped island in the Bahamas to kill the mastermind of the operation, Cy insists on doing things his way. But Verity knows his escape plan will get them killed. If she can't convince him her way off the island is better, they'll both end up in early graves.

KILLER IN HEELS is a 70,000-word suspense novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


This works for me, though I have a few suggestions you can take or leave.

The fact that Verity needs a partner seems less important if they're taking out the three men one at a time. So you could remove "three men at" from the second paragraph. The other two men aren't important in the query unless they're also on the island. Once you've done that, you can change "the mastermind of the operation" in the 3rd paragraph to "their target."

You could combine the first two sentences of paragraph 3 into something like:
Verity's partner Cy thinks he's the world's top expert on everything from rifle scopes to panda dung tea.

Putting the focus on their escape suggests they've done everything Cy's way and successfully killed their target. It might be more effective to suggest that doing things Cy's way keeps almost getting them killed, to the extent that surviving Cy's recklessness is the hardest part of the mission for Verity.

1 comment:

Iamanoldvampirechild said...

I read that ( had read previous one but didn't comment ) and this one has a clearer hook. I like thinking that she's in trouble on an island with her reckless partner.

I love EE's advice, esp both combining the sentences about worlds greatest assassin and then the tea thing. Was the 'panda dung' tea EE's or from a previous version? Because it's funny. So if 'Panda dung' tea isn't accurate I'd think of another funny way to put the tea. Because though alone the pouring tea thing is kinda voicey, it could be voicier. Like you could make up a tea, and say Prince of Earls cousin Orange Ceylon's half past eleven tea.' ( I dunno, something )

this version so much better than the others. Which, despite obvious attempts to sound voicey, felt a bit bland and wordy to me. I think the brevity of this query serves it well.